Quick trip or long stay, make the most out of your visit and catch some stunning views in Reds Meadow. Located near Mammoth Mountain and drifting into the borders of the Ansel Adams Wilderness lies the well-known Devils Postpile and Rainbow Falls attractions. Typically, these spots are only accessible by shuttle transportation, however, Covid-19 restrictions brought a whole new normal to the accessibility of these amazing locations in the heart of the Eastern Sierras.
In previous years Reds Meadow has commonly been known as the place that you have to take a grueling hot and crowded shuttle bus as transportation into the park. However, the new normal bring new processes and this year entrance has been socially distanced. Private vehicles, hiking-in, or biking-in are all welcomed according to the national park service. Make note that biking is permitted only in designated areas (not on trail) and hiking-in will be a full day on foot. Day use parking is first come, first serve and once its full the rangers will slow down and limit the number of guests into the park. From experience the old saying the early bird gets the worm never rang so true. During hours of operation there will be an entrance fee collected at the gate.
Once you’ve made it thru the gate it’s time to get excited! Starting the trail to Devils Postpile you will notice this trail is rated for a large variety of skill levels and ages. This is a highly populated trail and when you make it to the destination you’ll see exactly why. About 100,000 years ago a rushing consistent flow of lava pooled in this area and during its cooling process created these huge perfectly shaped columns that you really have to see to believe. These naturally formed pillars are protected in the Inyo National Forest and were deemed a national monument in 1911. Upon arrival you can explore the base of the monument and put into perspective exactly how giant these columns really are!
Just when you’ve filled up your SD card with photos of this glorious basalt range be sure to continue the hiking trail that will lead you to a hidden gem of a waterfall formally known as Rainbow Falls. Taking charge with a lengthy fall of 101 feet of raging water Rainbow Falls stands as one of the highest waterfalls in the Eastern Sierra Nevada mountains. On the way you’ll see the burned fire damaged areas from past forest fires and can read about the events on the permanent placards. You’ll come across multiple vistas before you reach the falls and each one getting more and more beautiful. The final leg to the falls leads you down a staircase that will have you in awe with each step. This waterfall gives its name complete validity by misting perfectly off the rocks into the rising sun and creating the infamous rainbow. If you’re lucky enough to catch it that is!
Whether you’re spending some long quality time in the area or just passing thru for a weekend these views are one of a kind and completely family friendly. If you’re visiting in the winter months and won’t be able to see these spots in person you can catch a great cosmic rendition of Devils Postpile at the local bowling alley, Mammoth Rock & Bowl. Always enjoy the journey friends!
Written by Valerie Gaxiola